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Raptors Shake Off Back-to-Back Daze, Repel Magic in the Second Half for 95-82 Win

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After a sleepy first half that saw the Raptors down by eight, Toronto rallied in the second half to beat the Orlando Magic 95-82. It was a strange night.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, just between you and me, let's admit this was a weird game. The Raptors ultimately beat Orlando 95-82, but for most of the game it felt like a bizarre run of circumstances were all working at the same time.

To wit:

  • Landry Fields got the start again for the Raptors. In the first half, he set up Amir Johnson on a fast break with an unexpected (to say the least) behind-the-back pass.
  • Patrick Patterson, still shooting well with a 4-of-6 night, went for a career-high six assists.
  • Channing Frye, who had previously lit up the Raps for 19 points (including 5-of-8 from three), had just three points and one made three pointer this game.
  • Meanwhile, undead Ben Gordon shot 7-for-11 for 16 points.
  • Greivis Vasquez, still a jovial presence in the locker room, had a mostly bad night. He was a team-worst -10 and almost fired a pass at a mother and her infant as she walked back to her seat. A ref made the save.
  • Tyler Hansbrough almost killed Evan Fournier.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Damn <a href="https://t.co/b4DkbVhisB">https://t.co/b4DkbVhisB</a></p>&mdash; Zach Harper (@talkhoops) <a href="https://twitter.com/talkhoops/status/544662903375532032">December 16, 2014</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
  • Hansbrough's elbow happened after Coach Dwane Casey had mentioned to his big men that the "dentist's office is open tomorrow" with respect to going in strong for rebounds.
  • Evan Fournier later returned to the game and managed to chip in 11 points.
  • Ten players got into the game for the Raptors and no one played less than 19:33 minutes. (Vasquez was the low man this time.)
  • Still, it felt like James Johnson barely played in the game. I was shocked to discover he went 4-of-5 on the night for eight points.
  • After the game, Bebe Nogueira announced there was time for one more question for Patrick Patterson. The press scrum broke up immediately afterward. (Though Kyle Lowry's appearance might have had something to do with that.)
  • Nothing weird about this statement: Lowry had 17 points, eight assists, five rebounds and shot 50 percent from the field. Kyle Lowry is human clockwork.
  • Anyway, Bebe claimed he was Patterson's new social media manager.
  • Jonas Valanciunas opened the Raps' scoring by pump faking and then hitting a jumper over Nikola Vucevic. Undecided how weird this actually is.
  • Finally: Landry Fields hit a three pointer.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>First three from Landry Fields since March 22, 2013</p>&mdash; Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) <a href="https://twitter.com/WolstatSun/status/544674954948902913">December 16, 2014</a></blockquote>
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  • It was the first time the Raptors had held an opponent to under 90 points since their 124-82 Bucks massacre on November 21.
  • The Raptors are now 19-6 (I confirmed this for Greivis post-game) and remain in first in the Eastern Conference.
  • Next game? Brooklyn Nets. Drake Night II. (And yes, Drake was in attendance in advance of Wednesday's game.)

Add your favourite weird moments from the game below. I may be forgetting some more things.

Or just let me know what you think.